The FBI on Wednesday released nearly 400 pages of records from an investigation it conducted on Donald Trump’s family real estate company in the early 1970s.
The documents consist of interview notes, handwritten statements and FBI reports compiled during the bureau’s investigation, which occurred between 1972 and 1974.
The FBI’s investigation centered on allegations that the Trump Management Company, which was owned by Trump’s father, Fred, discriminated against applicants for apartment rentals based on their race.
The federal lawsuit was widely reported during the presidential campaign with Democrats using the case to argue that Trump, an executive with the company at the time, is racist. The Justice Department settled with Trump Management in 1975 with the company admitting no wrongdoing but agreeing to provide more rentals to minority applicants.
The timing of the document dump is sure to raise questions given an ongoing battle between federal agencies and the Trump administration over leaks of classified information to the media.
But the FBI has recently started announcing the release of records related to high-profile cases.
In the weeks before the election, after nearly a year of inactivity, a Twitter account maintained by the FBI’s records division released files it had on Fred Trump, who died in 1999. Days later, the account dumped records from a Justice Department probe of Bill Clinton’s controversial pardon of billionaire fugitive Marc Rich.
Some Democrats asserted at the time that the release was politically-motivated. Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon called the timing of the release “odd.”
The documents released on Wednesday include statements from tenants and Trump company employees who claimed Fred Trump discriminated against black renters.
“Fred Trump told me not to rent to blacks,” one rental supervisor who worked for Fred Trump in 1973 told an FBI special agent.
In Oct. 1974, a former doorman at a Trump property in Brooklyn described what he said was the Trump company’s anti-black policy.
He told investigators that a superintendent who worked for Fred Trump told him that he should tell any black applicants for apartments “that the rent was twice as much as it really was, in order that he could not afford the apartment.”